Gov’t to supervise OFWs’ recruitment to curb abuse
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to ban private agencies from recruiting Filipinos for jobs abroad and has ordered the government to supervise the hiring of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
An exasperated President said he could no longer allow private firms to recruit OFWs since “that kind of mechanism of recruiting Filipino workers abroad has been abused and abused and abused.”
In a speech before hundreds of OFWs in Camp Aguinaldo, Mr. Duterte said he would summon recruitment agencies to sit down and talk, and ban them outright if they could not be reasoned with.
“I will have those sons of a bitch recruitment firms summoned, because they are fooling you. If I get fed up, I will ban that recruitment. You get yourselves recruited by the government. That’s why I will expedite that Department of OFW,” he said.
He added: “I will bar recruitment by outside agencies. If they want, they can set up a table there. So it will be under the supervision of government and no horrendous charges. I will not allow it once it is established.”
Gov’t to control processing
Recruitment firms will be required to set up offices in the Department of OFW.
“You set up your office in the government office. You’re like a store looking for customers … But the processing will be controlled, will be under the supervision of government,” he explained.
The President made the remarks at the “Araw ng Pasasalamat” event for OFWs held in Camp Aguinaldo on Friday night.
He said the government would regulate and supervise the recruitment of OFWs to prevent cases of illegal recruitment, which has brought upon misery on millions of OFWs.
“It will be the entire Philippines, I will ban outside recruitment. I will have a list, you can just choose whichever firm you want. That will be regulated and I have the power to do that because that kind of mechanism of recruiting Filipino workers abroad has been abused and abused and abused, and my countrymen are the pitiful victims,” Mr. Duterte said.
He warned recruiters that their days were numbered. “If you do not agree to a cordial talk, I will force you. If I force you, you will be surely at the losing end.”
To facilitate the government’s supervision and control of the recruitment of OFWs, he tasked Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to expedite the creation of a Department of OFWs.
“By December, that OFW [department] is done,” Mr. Duterte said, assuring that he would give the department to a decent official.
The President later added that he also intended to create a separate bureau for seafarers’ concerns.
A bureau for seafarers
“Maybe I can create the office of OFW and another one, I have one for seafarers, a seafarers’ bureau,” the President said.
He also promised the OFWs that they would have their own hospital in Nueva Ecija, as well as a dedicated police attache.
“The hospital in Nueva Ecija, I will equip it with the most modern equipment. You will have the MRI, CT scan, just like what I did to the military hospital. I will complete it so you can use it well,” the President said.
The police attache, he added, will assist OFWs in police concerns and other legal matters, and connect them to concerned agencies in the Philippines.
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